Edinson Cavani handed three-match FA ban over racial term in social media post

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has been handed a three-match ban by the Football Association for using a racial term in a social media post.

The 33-year-old summer signing produced a match-winning display at Southampton on November 29, providing an assist for Bruno Fernandes before netting a brace in a 3-2 comeback win.

Cavani posted a social media message on Instagram shortly after the match, replying to a message of congratulations using the Spanish term 'negrito', which translates as 'black'.

The Uruguayan swiftly deleted the post and issued an apology after being made aware of the connotations, with the player releasing an apologetic statement the following day saying he was "completely opposed to racism".

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Uruguay's Luis Suarez, right, celebrates with teammate Edinson Cavani after scoring during a 2010 World Cup qualifying soccer game against Colombia in Montevideo, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Players of Uruguay's under-20 soccer team Martin Caceres, left, Damian Suarez, center, and Edinson Cavani talk during a training session at "Mensu" stadium in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, Saturday , Jan. 13 , 2007.(AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
Palermo forward Edinson Cavani of Uruguay celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Palermo and Torino, in Palermo, Italy, Sunday, April 5, 2009.(AP Photo/Alessandro Fucarini)
Uruguay's Diego Forlan, left, Luis Suarez, center, and Edinson Cavani, right, are seen as they tour by the Big Hole in Kimberley, South Africa, Wednesday, June 9, 2010. Uruguay are preparing for the upcoming soccer World Cup, where they will play in Group A. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Napoli's Edinson Cavani, celebrates scoring an equalizer in the dying seconds of the match against Steaua Bucharest in Group K of the Europa League on the Steaua Stadium in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Napoli's Edinson Cavani, of Uruguay, celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Juventus, at Naples' San Paolo stadium, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Franco Castanò)
Napoli's Edinson Cavani, of Uruguay, celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Cagliari in Naples, Italy, Sunday, March 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)
Napoli forward Edinson Cavani, of Uruguay, reacts after missing a scoring chance during the Serie A soccer match between Atalanta and Napoli in Bergamo, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani, right, argue with Britain's Micah Richards, during the men's group A soccer match between Britain and Uruguay, at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, Wales, at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Napoli's Edinson Cavani, of Uruguay, celebrates at the end of a Cup of Italy semifinal soccer match between Napoli and Siena at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. Napoli won 2 - 0 to qualify for the final. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)
Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, of Uruguay, left, celebrates with his teammate Goran Pandev after scoring during a soccer match between Napoli and Torino at Naples' San Paolo stadium, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)
Napoli forward Edinson Cavani of Uruguay, gestures during a Serie A soccer match between Inter Milan and Napoli, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Napoli's Edinson Cavani, of Uruguay controls the ball during a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Bologna, in Naples, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani, left, celebrates with teammate Uruguay's Luis Suarez after scoring his side's first goal against Italy during the soccer Confederations Cup third-place match at the Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador, Brazil, Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Napoli's Paolo Cannavaro, Edinson Cavani, of Uruguay, and Lorenzo Insigne celebrate at the end of a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Siena, at the Naples San Paolo stadium, Italy, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)
El delantero uruguayo Edinson Cavani posa con su nueva camiseta del Paris Saint-Germain el martes, 16 de julio de 2013, en París. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
Paris Saint Germain's Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, right, reacts after missing a chance to score, while his teammeate Swedish Zlatan Ibrahimovic stands next to him during a French League One soccer match Paris Saint-Germain against AC Ajaccio Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, in Paris. The match ended with a 1-1 draw. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani looks the ball during their French League One soccer match against Lorient, Friday Nov. 1, 2013, in Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
El jugador de Uruguay, Luis Suárez, centro, festeja con sus compañeros Cristhian Stuani, izquierda, y Edinson Cavani, tras anotar un gol contra Perú en las eliminatorias mundialistas el viernes, 6 de septiembre de 2013, en Lima. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
Edinson Cavani celebra tras anotar el primer gol de Uruguay en la victoria 2-0 ante Colombia en las eliminatorias del Mundial el martes 10 de septiembre de 2013. (AP Foto/Natacha Pisarenko)
PSG's forward Edinson Cavani from Uruguay celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal during the Group C Champions League soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Olympiakos FC at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Uruguay's Luis Suarez, left, Edinson Cavani, second from left, and Diego Godin, front right, celebrate after qualifying for the 2014 World Cup after playing a World Cup qualifying playoff second leg soccer match against Jordan in Montevideo, Uruguay, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
Paris Saint Germain's from left Thiago Motta, alex, Javier Pastore, Left from Rear, Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani, Brazilian defender Maxwell, Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Italian goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu as they celebrate after winning the French League One title, at the Parc des Princes Stadium, in Paris, Saturday, May. 17, 2014. Paris Saint-Germain won the French League One Championship title on Saturday, the 4th in the club's history. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
Paris Saint Germain's Edinson Cavani of Argentina, center, and goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, right, pose with the trophy after winning the French League Cup Final soccer match against Lyon at the Stade de France in Saint Denis, north of Paris, Saturday April 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
Uruguay's player Edinson Cavani gestures during a press conference after training on the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, Monday, May 26, 2014. Behind is player Walter Gargano. Uruguay's team is training for the World Cup soccer tournament that starts in June in Brazil. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
Edinson Cavani, de la selección uruguaya, celebra luego de anotar frente a Eslovenia en un partido amistoso realizado el miércoles 4 de junio de 2014 en Montevideo (AP Foto/Matilde Campodonico)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani puts on a headband during a training session at Jacare Stadium in Sete Lagoas, Brazil, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Uruguay's national soccer team continues their preparations for the upcoming 2014 World Cup. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani (21) kicks a penalty shot to score his side's first goal during the group D World Cup soccer match between Uruguay and Costa Rica at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani misses a chance as England's goalkeeper Joe Hart stretches out during the group D World Cup soccer match between Uruguay and England at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani, right, greets Colombia's Pablo Armero after the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. Colombia won the match 2-0. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
PSG's Edinson Cavani, right, is congratulated by PSG's David Luiz, at the end of the Champions League Group F soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Ajax at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. PSG defeated Ajax 3-1. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PSG's Edinson Cavani, celebrates after scoring against Apoel during the Champions League Group F soccer match between Apoel and Paris Saint Germain, at GSP stadium, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
PSG players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani, right, leave the pitch at the end of the Group F Champions League soccer match between FC Barcelona and PSG at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday Dec. 10, 2014. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez all scored to lead Barcelona to a thrilling 3-1 comeback win over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, as the Spanish club snatched first place in Group F of the Champions League from the French side. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani reacts after begin fouled by Chile's Jorge Valdivia, unseen, during a Copa America quarterfinal soccer match at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, Wednesday June 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani is held back as he argues with Chile's Gonzalo Jara (18) during a Copa America quarterfinal soccer match at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. South American football officials will look into the actions of Jara, who was caught by TV cameras poking Cavani's behind to provoke a red card, which could lead to a suspension for the Chilean player. Cavani, Uruguay's top striker in the South American tournament, was sent off after the provocation by Jara, and Chile went on to win 1-0. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
PSG's Angel Di Maria, left, and PSG's Edinson Cavani react after di Maria scored the opening goal during the Champions League Group A soccer match between PSG and Malmo at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PSG's Edinson Cavani, right, faces off against Bordeaux' Nicolas Maurice-Belay after the French league one soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Bordeaux, in Paris, France, Friday Sept. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
PSG's Edinson Cavani celebrates his goal during the Champions League round of 16, 1st leg soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
PSG's Edinson Cavani celebrates his penalty during a French League One soccer match Paris-Saint-Germain against Angers at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Shirt show the logo of the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense who died in a plane crash in Columbia. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
El uruguayo Edinson Cavani, del París Saint Germain, se lamenta tras fallar un gol durante un encuentro de liga ante Lorient, el domingo 12 de marzo de 2017 (AP Foto/David Vincent)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring against Brazil during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday, March. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
PSG's Edinson Cavani reacts during his League One soccer match against Nice, at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Paris Saint Germain's Edinson Cavani, left, and Neymar look on prior to shoot a free kick during their French League One soccer match between PSG and Olympique Lyon at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PSG's Edinson Cavani, right, celebrates after scoring his side's third goal with his teammate Neymar during a Champions League Group B soccer match between Paris St. Germain and Celtic at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. Banner in the middle reads : Never alone. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 file photo, Uruguay's Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring against Bolivia during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Montevideo, Uruguay. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico, File)
Edinson Cavani (21) anota su primer gol en la Copa Mundial de Rusia ante la mirada de Luis Suárez en la victoria 3-0 de Uruguay sobre el dueño de casa en Samara, Rusia, el 25 de junio del 2018. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani reacts during the group A match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani controls a ball during Uruguay's official training on the eve of the group A match between Egypt and Uruguay at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Yekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the round of 16 match between Uruguay and Portugal at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, June 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani celebrates after he scored the opening goal during the round of 16 match between Uruguay and Portugal at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, June 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
TOPSHOT - Manchester United's Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani (C) heads the ball during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 24, 2020. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Edinson Cavani of Manchester United celebrates with teammate Fred after scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on November 07, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Paul Ellis - Pool/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Edinson Cavani of Manchester United celebrates scoring their third goal during the Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Southampton, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United's Edinson Cavani celebrates with Victor Lindelof after scoring his side's second goal during an English Premier League soccer match between Southampton and Manchester United at the St. Mary's stadium in Southampton, England, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Mike Hewitt, Pool via AP)
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But the FA charged the striker with "misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3" in relation to his social media post on December 17 and has now banned him for three matches.

The governing body said in a statement: "Edinson Cavani has been suspended for three games, fined £100,000 and must complete face-to-face education after admitting a charge for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on Sunday 29 November 2020.

"A comment posted on the Manchester United FC striker's Instagram page was insulting, abusive, improper and brought the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3.1.

"The post also constitutes an "aggravated breach", which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as it included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin.

"An independent Regulatory Commission was appointed to decide the sanction and its written reasons will be published in due course."

Cavani will miss the Premier League match against Aston Villa on New Year's Day along with the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City and the FA Cup third-round tie against Watford.

United are understood to have felt the striker should not have been charged given it was an inadvertent mistake by a non-English speaker and hope the £100,000 fine is used to support anti-racism projects.

The club said in a statement: "As he has stated, Edinson Cavani wasn't aware that his words could have been misconstrued and he sincerely apologised for the post and to anyone who was offended,"

"Despite his honest belief that he was simply sending an affectionate thank you in response to a congratulatory message from a close friend, he chose not to contest the charge out of respect for, and solidarity with, The FA and the fight against racism in football.

"While it is clear that context and intent are key factors, we note that the independent Regulatory Commission was required to impose a minimum three game suspension.

"The club trusts that the independent Regulatory Commission will make it clear in its written reasons that Edinson Cavani is not a racist, nor was there any racist intent in relation to his post."

The ban did not go down well on Twitter:

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